Putin and Obama: role play

I feel like I awoke from a nap in an alternative universe, where everything is backwards or reversed from the norm. I’ve already seen the ‘right is wrong – wrong is right’ kind of thing before, so that doesn’t shock me but everything else does.

Here is Obama the non-interventionist, anti-war candidate now being lectured by Putin on his third intervention. MaObama is now being upstaged by the pacifist Putin. Could it be more surreal than that?

Obama

“Indeed, I’d ask every member of Congress, and those of you watching at home tonight, to view those videos of the attack, and then ask: What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way?”

Putin op-ed:

“If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.”

Obama:

“America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.”

Putin:

“And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy.
Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Here we are with Obama trying to apply, and define, American exceptionalism — after campaigning against it — to make his case. And Putin is lecturing the anti-American exceptionalism candidate about equality and the declaration of independence.

Neither is being true to themselves. But it does make for a great exhibition. Maybe Obama can instruct Putin on how to put the Soviet Union back together? That is sort of the equivalent. Only Putin’s message can find resonance with Obama’s supporters, who he is aiming it at.

It’s almost as laughable as Abbott and Costello’s performance of “who’s on first?”. It couldn’t be more absurdly surreal. They could almost take this act on the road.

Syrians get medical treatment in Israel

Syrians brave risks to seek treatment in Israel

NAHARIYA, Israel (AP) — It looks like a standard scene in the corner of the children’s intensive care unit at a hospital in this northern Israeli town. The counter is jammed with stuffed animals, and balloons shaped like princesses float against the ceiling. A nervous, silent father hovers over his injured daughter.
But he and the girl are Syrians, spirited across the border by the Israeli military for medical treatment unavailable amid the civil war at home. He is silent because he cannot speak Hebrew, nervous because his presence in Israel, Syria’s long-time enemy, could place his family in danger if his trip is discovered.
He came to the hospital six days ago, following after his daughter. He refuses to say how he arrived, and hospital staff step in quickly to deflect questions about the journey. He has no contact with his family at home. All of this, he says, is worth it.
“For my daughter, I’m willing to do anything,” said the father, who, like his 12-year-old daughter, could not be named because he fears repercussions in Syria. While he was grateful for high-quality medical care, he was visibly afraid of the potential consequences of his trip, speaking in one-word answers and keeping his eyes lowered. He checked footage filmed by an AP Television News crew to make sure his daughter’s face was obscured.
On both sides of the Syrian civil war, militant groups like Hezbollah and fighters linked to al-Qaida are virulently opposed to Israel’s existence. The Syrian regime itself is a longtime Israeli enemy, and its citizens are banned from travel there, facing possible jail time if they are discovered. The two countries have fought two wars, and Israel has annexed the Golan Heights, a plateau it captured from Syria in 1967. President Bashar Assad and his late father Hafez, the former Syrian ruler, have used their anti-Israeli stance as a source of legitimacy and have hosted and funded anti-Israeli militants. Generations of Syrians have grown up under propaganda vilifying the Jewish state.
All of this means that the father’s presence in Israel could mean trouble for his family back home from any number of groups. Those fears, said Dr. Zonis Zeev, the head of the children’s ICU at Western Galilee Medical Center in the city of Nahiriya, are often the hardest for the patients to overcome.
More: http://www.mail.com/scitech/health/2265220-syrians-brave-risks-to-seek-treatment-israel.html#.23140-stage-hero1-12